For the wireless Internet to succeed, it has to do more than overcome technology limitations. The interface must change so that users can more easily navigate the web. As a possible solution to this problem, Interlink Electronics has come out with MicroNav. Measuring less than 10×10×1.4 mm, this device is actually an original-equipment-manufacturer (OEM) mouse. It promises to enable precise cursor navigation for consumer handheld devices like cellular phones, wireless e-mail devices, portable digital assistants (PDAs), tablet PCs, Global Positioning Systems (GPSs), and even digital cameras.
Essentially, MicroNav delivers 360° "mouse" navigation for new applications, such as Internet browsing, e-mail, gaming, and on-board image editing as well as traditional "mouse" functions. Using the company's patented Force Sensing Resistor (FSR) technology, MicroNav sensors should easily integrate into portable consumer devices. They are solder-reflow compatible for pick-and-place high-volume manufacturing.
MicroNav promises to deliver smooth pressure-controlled cursor acceleration and a complete set of actuator designs. It is available in three standard configurations. The Sensor Only version of MicroNav provides just firmware in the form of object code libraries. The Chip-and-Sensor form comes with a microprocessor. It is available in serial, PS/2, and USB interfaces. Finally, the Sensor-On-Board has MicroNav mounted on a PCB with a microprocessor and rubber actuator. This version targets small- to medium-sized footprints that require a drop-in cursor-control solution.
Pricing for MicroNav varies by configuration and quantity. For example, the average cost for the Sensor Only configuration in consumer quantities is estimated at $1.00.
Interlink Electronics, Inc.
546 Flynn Rd., Camarillo, CA 93012; (805) 484-8855, www.interlinkelectronics.com.